Friday Fill-In: November 30, 2007

bowman bay sunset 112407 

Sunset on Bowman Bay – November 24,2007 


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday Fill-In #48
(answer yours here)

1. When my blog is broken, there’s no one to fix it but me!
2. I saw the most amazing man in my bed this morning!
3. The Golden Compass is the new movie I’m most looking forward to seeing.
4. Work: Necessary and always entertaining at the lab.
5. Of all the new tv shows, I enjoy Pushing Daisies! Pushing Daisies! Pushing Daisies! the most.
6. If only I had cleaned the house before the phone guy came over, I would have felt a little less like a disgusting pig.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to sleep, tomorrow my plans include moping around sucking on cough drops and drinking tea and Sunday, I want to knit & cheer on my hubby at The Deception Pass Dash if I’m feeling better!


The List

christmas list 07

Nope. This is not a joke.
I do actually own SpongeBob Squarepants Christmas stationery.


Every holiday season I make The List. It’s always on Christmas paper and it’s always categorized.  Yes, I’m list-obsesessed.  Yes, it might be just a bitty bit creepy how obsessed I am with lists.  But apparently, I’ve got lots of company.

I’m one of those people who shops all year long and buys things that would be the perfect something for someone as soon as I spot them, most especially if they happen to be on sale (thrifty, I am). Then I ferret them away into little niches and closets around the house and have me a grand old time looking for them when the holidays finally come around again.  Imagine an ultra-caffeinated squirrel in your side yard who spends all autumn digging little holes for its acorns and then, when winter appears, can’t find the damn things. 

So The List usually kicks off with the names of people I’ve purchased gifts for, what I purchased and how much it cost.  Then The List expands to the “Must Make” part of the list.  “Must Make” is further broken down into: “Finished”, “Need to Make”, “Should Make” and “Maybe-Kinda-Sorta-Will-Make-If-I-Have-Enough-Time”.  Let’s be honest though.  In zero hour, just before Santa arrives on the rooftop expecting his cookies and milk, a lot of stuff gets shuffled into that last category which magically transforms into the “Oh-shit-I-didn’t-finish-that-gift-in-time-must-now-buy-you-the-perfect-something” column.  Ah, the magic of Christmas!

 Seriously though.  I adore Christmas.  It’s my favorite time of year and I love making gifts for people.  And man do I have my work cut out for me this year!


Christmas Knitting 2007


Need To Make:

Should Make:

  • Pattern:  Sheldon

    • For Niece A – in Green Apple & Grass Knitpicks Shine Sport

    • For Niece T – in Cherry and Blush Knitpicks Shine Sport

  • Pattern: Fetching

    • For Parents’ neighbor B – She wants acrylic!

  • Pattern: Cabled Earflap Hat

    • For MIL – in Plum Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky



There it is.  In a nutshell.  There’s more, but it’s secrety squirrel so you’ll have to wait until Christmas!


Pools & Packages


Show off!  R. Darling practicing his rolls in the pool


Yesterday R. Darling and I went to the pool for some kayak practice.  I can’t say that I was keen on the whole thing (being wet and strapped into a kayak isn’t really conducive to getting in some knitting time) but I went along.  Recently I’ve started to panic a little when having to wet exit the kayak, and R. Darling thought that practicing comfort in the water might help with the anxiety.  So yesterday I spent an awful lot of time like this:




This is actually R. Darling in his boat, but you get the idea.  And apparently the inside of my right ear is a cozy little spot because this morning I woke up at 4:30 AM with my ear throbbing and I’m afraid some nasty little water gremlin must have crawled inside and is now having a sweet little pajama-jammy-jam inside my ear canal.  The nurse at the doctor’s office thinks that I might have some excess sinus pressure in there that is not equalizing properly, but I know better.  Let’s just hope the water gremlin does his little “walk of shame” out of my ear pretty soon and things can go back to normal.   Much as I love sitting on my ass all day, as per R. Darling’s orders, I’m not real fond of a throbbing inner ear.  Kinda sucks the fun right out of everything.

But here’s something that always cheers me up:  a package!!  I received my SITM sock swap package last Wednesday and it was filled with all kinds of fantastic things!  Hooray!!  Thank you so much AJ for such a wonderful package and such pretty pink socks!  AJ was the hostess of the SITM swap and I’m not sure how I ended up with the hostess as my secret pal, but it has really been fun corresponding with her during the last couple months.  Thanks for a great swap AJ!  And here’s the goods…..



This is what I saw when I opened the box.  A handmade knitting needle cozy in the perfect colors!  So cool!



Underneath, some beautiful Koigu!  Mmmmm…… Koiguuuuu.  Never tried it, but sooooo excited to!




She also sent a drop spindle, a book on spinning and a bunch of pretty green roving.  I’ve been curious about spinning but just didn’t know where to start, so this will be really fun to get to try!  Can’t wait!


And last but not least, a few pics of my new fantastic pink socks that fit perfectly!  Thanks so much for everything AJ!  You’ve been an awesome pal :)







Sneaking in some Thanksgiving Day knitting – Nov. 22, 2007

Thinking about Thanksgiving, and feeling the urge to post something meaningful here, I cast about the mighty intraweb on Wednesday searching for something different than the usual memes about what my favorite Thanksgiving dish is (turkey or pie – it’s a tie), whether I have to travel to get to the celebration (a little), do I shop the day after (NO!), or what my favorite Thanksgiving tradition is (don’t really have any).  Of course I could post about the things that I’m thankful for, but they are so many and so widely similar to everyone else’s that I just didn’t feel inspired.  Let’s just say that I feel overall, extremely thankful for all that I have (or don’t have) and all the people that I care about (and hopefully, care about me too).  And I did spend a lot of time reflecting on that yesterday cozied up on the couch with R. Darling after the festivities. 

But, being as this is a blog and I’m a bloggy sort of peep now, I looked harder for something special and unique.  And I think I finally found it at Citizen of the Month*:

Thank Your First Commenter Day! 

What a lovely way to give back to the blogging community, and those people who keep you blogging day in and day out (because lord knows, I’d have quit a long freakin’ time ago if it wasn’t for all of you commenters – and you know who you are – who take the time to stop by and listen to my nonsense and share a piece of yourself). 

So a big Thanksgiving Thank You Shout Out goes to my very first commenter ever Robin M. of Yarn Crawl!  This is what she wrote on my post:


“Wow, what a nice story! I enjoyed reading it and I do believe in soulmates too.”


I can’t describe the feeling it gave me to find that comment waiting for me on what had been, until that February day, a commentless blog.  It was kinda like that time my junior year in high school when I got invited to this richy-rich-future-cheerleader girl’s 16th birthday party even though I was definitely a dork and definitely not in her usual crowd.  I didn’t know why she’d singled me out for an invite (well, I wasn’t exactly singled out – there must have been 75 people there), unless maybe she had a moment of pity for the nerd contigent, but for just a single precious moment I didn’t feel like such a loser.  So thank you Robin for the big invite to the knitting blogosphere!  I can never thank you enough for taking the time to leave that first comment and every comment you’ve left since then.  You’ll never know how much it meant; how much it means to me still. 

And thank you to everyone else who has taken the time to stop by here and share a thought or a laugh!  I get a warm and fuzzy feeling from each and every one of your comments.  You all mean a great deal to me and I hope that each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have so much to be thankful for, from this year into the next!  Best wishes from me to you!


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


* Citizen of the Month is also hosting an online Arts and Crafts Fair!  Check it out – it looks cool!!


It’s A Nice Day For A Peppermint Mocha

And oh yes, I am singing that title in my head to Billy Idol’s “White Wedding”…..
‘Cause that’s how I roll.


I finished the first knitted Christmas gift on my list today!   A pair of Fetching fingerless mitts for my closest college friend living far far away.  These will get wrapped up with a handmade tag and sent off just as soon as I collect the rest of the gifts to go in the package (ornaments for her kids and a Barnes & Noble card for her hubby).  It’s so good to be able to cross something off the list! 

Knitty Nonsense for those who care:

  •  Pattern:  Fetching from Knitty – Summer 2006

  • Needles:  Size 6 metal dpn’s

  • Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere in Spring Grass colorway; approximately 2.25 balls

  • Recipient:  Christmas gift for a very close college friend

  • Begin Date:  November 7, 2007

  • End Date:  November 18, 2007

  • Thoughts:  I wasn’t sure about using this yarn at first.  It produced a very thick, velvety fabric that I thought fit a little too snugly.  But I took them in to the office and had the boss’s wife try them on and she thought they were perfect.  I guess I just have big hands!  The cashmere was a little bit splitty if I wasn’t careful, and slippery on the dpn’s (but I don’t usually use metal so that could explain it), but overall it worked up really nicely and I think these will be a great Christmas gift.


And yup.  That really is a peppermint mocha.


Friday Fill-In: November 16, 2007


A photo of me and my poochie about a year after my adoption

Today is National Adoption Day!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday Fill-In #46
(answer yours here)

1. The things I give thanks for this Thanksgiving are my husband, my family, my health, and a warm comfortable home.

2. My Thanksgiving traditions include making 2 pumpkin pies the night before; 1 for serving at dinnertime and 1 for breakfast on Thanksgiving day!  And usually, the day after Thanksgiving, I “allow” myself to watch my first Christmas movie of the season.

3. The best part about Thanksgiving is sharing the day with my family.

4. My favorite Thanksgiving food is …..Hmmm. That one’s tough because I’m usually the cook and by the time I get to eat, nothing sounds good at all!  But I’d have to say white turkey meat with gravy and pumpkin pie with a buttload of whipped cream.

5. Not having the turkey ready on time was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me on Thanksgiving.  Not really that big of a deal, but I don’t really have any embarrassing stories that I can remember.

6. After the meal, I would love to take a tasty nap!  But I usually end up packaging food for people to take home and loading the dishwasher.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going to see Fred Claus in the movie theater, tomorrow my plans include convincing hubby to watch Meet The Robinson’s with me and Sunday, I want to make some good progress on my Christmas knitting while hubby’s out kayaking!


Electricity Is Cool

You Don’t Know What You Got, ‘Til it’s gone…..

Two days without power and it’s hard not to wax poetic about the subject:

O heat-
how you deliver,
my gooseflesh from shiver,

O light-
how you vanquish,
the demons of night…….

A storm of fantastic proportions whipped through our county Sunday and Monday with sustained winds of over 50 mph and gusts upwards of 80 mph (you can read more about it here). We rarely lose power at our house for more than a couple hours at a time, but we’ve been without since around 8:30 AM yesterday. Luckily, our only household casualty was a couple of fence panels which will be a royal pain in the ass to fix, but overall isn’t really so bad considering our neighbors have lost big panels from each of their roofs.

So yesterday was spent curled up on the couch reading with the poopies to keep me company. Not so bad until the sun winks out at 4PM. Then you realize just how cold and dark a November night can be and those creepy stories you read all day conspire to create monsters out of the flickering shadows.

But I have our recent power outage to thank for some highly under appreciated experiences I had yesterday…….

  • Showering by candlelight. Nothing takes the edge off of your jiggly bits like good old fashioned candlelight. Definitely try this one at home kids.
  • No TV, computer or electrical whatnot. Just good old-fashioned brainpower to entertain you. I read 2.5 books in the space of probably 18 hours. Nothing beats a brain binge!
  • Guilt free relaxation. I am pretty much never without anxiety over something I did or did not do. But without appliances, you can’t exactly feel guilty for not doing housework. Or exercising.
  • Curling up with your pets. Our Jack Russell, Nelson, rarely sits still long enough for you to trick him into cuddling. But yesterday he was as content as could be to lay by my side and steal some of my warmth. Kinda makes up for the trouble he causes the rest of the 99.9% of the time.
  • Cooking a grilled cheese sandwich while wearing a head lamp. Accident waiting to happen? Maybe. Fun? Definitely!
  • Not looking in the mirror for an entire day. No criticism, no makeup, no judgment. Everyone needs a day like this.
  • Going to bed early with your husband curled up under a down comforter. ‘Nuff said ;)

As I’m blogging this from work, I’m wondering if I’ll have power when I get home. Maybe, maybe not. But I do know one thing. I’ve missed all of you and hope that you’ve all been well. Though I’m MIA now, I’ll catch up with all of you soon I hope. Until then, give the showering by candlelight a try. You may never go back.


Friday Fill-In: November 9, 2007


Photo from the Bellagio seasonal display taken during our Vegas trip in September 2007

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday Fill-In #45
(answer yours here)

1. Plans and schedules are kinda my bag, baby.

2. I’m happy when things are bright and sunny.

3. The last thing I drank was diet coke with lime juice in it.

4. One of the most valuable things in my life is my great relationship with my husband.  Predictable & mushy, but true :)

5. I like sun-dried tomatoes on my pizza. (Mmmm….. pizza……)

6. Dear November, does it suck to play second fiddle to December?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to eating pizza, tomorrow my plans include working out (ugh!) and Sunday, I want to watch “Ratatouille”!


Well At Least There’s This

Some of you may remember that little secrety sumpin’ sumpin’ I was working on for a while.  The Something Exciting which will now be better known as “Petal“.  I have to admit, it was a bit of a surprise to find it all complete and ready for purchase when I was browsing Ravelry this afternoon.  My heart sank just a little.  Like when you find out a week after the fact that your boyfriend went out to dinner with a girl-that’s-a-friend (who you think might be more-than-a-friend) and somehow neglected to share that information until you asked a bunch of snoopy questions and pried it out of him. 

I guess I had a lot of expectations about the process that I didn’t realize I was holding on to.  Some altruistic sense of wanting to help another knitter, albeit someone who doesn’t need my help, and being on the cusp of something new and exciting.  Maybe even a little asterisk in the bottom right hand corner that says something like, “Test knitters using Berocco Nostalgia found that yardage needed to complete this project was in fact doubled.”  In the end, I wasn’t helpful at all and the worst part about it is, I now am the proud owner of my very first Fuggle (non-magic knit) as a result.  Oy.  I haven’t even bothered to take a photo of it yet so pictures may not ever be forthcoming.  Just take a look at Stefanie’s if you’re curious because it looks positively lovely on her!  Sorry, I know you were excited to finally see it.  Maybe, if I don’t frog it in the near future I’ll take one for posterity and share it with you so you can enjoy my very first Fuggle as much as I have (not).

Lest you think I am badmouthing the designer or her process, I feel compelled to assert that I don’t have any negative feelings whatsoever towards her or how everything worked out.  It was my own damn fault for having such high expectations for whatever it was that I thought I was doing and I just can’t explain why I feel so melancholy about the whole thing.  I’m really happy for her that she got the pattern completed and it appears that she had a whole community college class test knit it for her, so I’m sure that was extremely helpful.  And I wish her tons of success with both the pattern and her book that will be coming out in the future!  Hooray for Glampyre!  Thanks for letting me test knit for you even though I suck!

But at least there’s this~


Twinkle Toes in STR Midsummer Night for SITM Pal #2

I finally finished my second pair of socks for my second pal for the Sock It To Me Sock Swap.  These will get blocked tonight and then hopefully I’ll be able to mail them out over the weekend.  Then it’s time for some serious Christmas knitting.  Stay off the Naughty List kids or you may find a Fuggle in your stocking!


Paddling Burrows Island

burrows island trip

Image courtesty of this site

Map of our trip Sunday October 28, 2007 around Burrows Island:     The red line is our basic course


Last weekend my crazy, paddling-obsessed, marathon running, husband convinced me to take a little paddle around Burrows Island. We’re lucky enough to live in one of the most celebrated kayaking areas in the country, so it’s about time we took advantage of that.  Usually, when it gets cold like it’s been, we’re holed up inside trying to keep warm and attempting to hibernate by stuffing our faces with junky food and sleeping.  But this year, both summer and fall so far, we’ve been doing our best to actually enjoy some mother nature before it gets so nasty that hibernating becomes the only option.

So last Sunday, we get up at 0:dark:30, load up our stuff while half-asleep and freezing (though to be fair, hubby did most of this by himself; always does) and headed south to Anacortes, WA.  We unloaded and launched from Washington Park.  Recently, I’ve had a horrific struggle with getting my dry suit on.  I swear that rubber gasket around the neck catches every single tiny baby hair on my neck and rips it out from the roots.  This is impossible to prevent because my head is usually stuck inside the dumb gasket, half in half out, and I have no choice but to continue yanking if I want the blasted thing to go on.  But, my husband in his infinite kayaking/paddling obsessiveness, managed to find a little blurb somewhere on the internet about using a pair of pantyhose to cover your hair while you put your dry suit on.  Looks like I’m about to hold up a liquor store, right?  Or else I’m auditioning for a Jane’s Addiction video.  But it worked like a freakin’ charm.


Oh, the indignity!

With that particular bit of torture behind me, we headed out into the glassy calm amongst the birds and bulbous kelp undulating in the tide.  First stop, the abandoned lighthouse on the southwestern part of the island.  We got out, scaled the rocks and got a closer look at the old structure.  It’s quite picturesque with a lovely view of Rosario Strait.  The lighthouse was automated in 1972 so no one lives there anymore, but it was thought provoking to stand there watching the water and wondering what kind of life it must have been to live so isolated but in such a beautiful and peaceful surrounding.

Image courtesy of Kayak Succor (R. Darling’s blog)

The Burrows Island Lighthouse 

We saw the first of many seals as we left the lighthouse.  No matter how many times I see one poke its head up above the water and study us in our kayaks, it just never seems to get old for me.  I squeal like a little kid and point, every single time.  We were lucky enough to see some river otters on a rock outcropping and follow the path of a couple porpoises as well.  Unfortunately, we weren’t quick enough with the camera, or close enough, in either of those instances.  But it made the trip totally worth it for me even though I got a little freaked in a couple of the eddylines.  I don’t have much experience with those yet.  But luckily they were mild.

After paddling about 4.5 miles around Burrows Island, we stopped at the campground on the northeastern end of the island for a little lunch.  I am definitely not in paddling shape!  Just those 4.5 miles pooped me out and after our rest we still had a mile to go.  But we checked out the campsite for a future visit and had a brief rest before paddling the rest of the way back to Washington Park. 


At the Burrows Island Campground

In the end, it was a lovely day and I’m so glad that R. Darling dragged my lazy ass out for a paddle.  It was  beautiful day with my best friend and I hope we do it again soon!


If you want more technical info about our paddle, you can find it over at R. Darling’s blog.  He’s the paddling-obsessed authority on all things kayaking ;)


Friday Fill-In: November 2, 2007

Friday Fill-In #44
(find it here and via the button in my sidebar) 

1. Drinking mochas is my favorite form of therapy.

2. If you get my voice mail you’ll hear my husband .

3. My favorite product EVER is Burt’s Bees Lip Balm .

4. I see something blue & fluffy.

5. When I’m grumpy I get really quiet & like to be alone .

6. Doing things in even numbers is my strangest habit.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to hanging out with R. Darling, tomorrow my plans include knitting lots and Sunday, I want to knit some more (this will probably be a recurring theme!)!